Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Boyfriend, Spectral or Otherwise

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Amanda and Jenn recommend South American lit, adult fiction for YA lovers, and more on this week’s Get Booked!

This episode is sponsored by Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam and the Book of the Month Club.

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The show can also be found on Stitcher here.

Need a book recommendation? Fill out the form at the bottom of the post, or email and we’ll help!


1. I’m looking to expand my reading, geographically speaking. I’d love some recommendations for books from South American authors (in English translation). I like fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels but I am picky about the kind of fiction I like. I don’t like surrealism, magical realism, most fantasy at all, or horror. I like books with a strong plot. I like some science fiction but not very much. I do like historical fiction, family novels, contemporary fiction, and what’s described as “literary fiction” and “women’s fiction” — though I hate both of those terms!

South American authors I have tried in the past and given up on include Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende, Jorge Luis Borges, and Paulo Coelho. Can you help? I mean, I wish you could help me with my aversion to magical realism, surrealism, and non-linear plots, but given that’s likely impossible, how about recs for books from South America that fit the tastes I am cursed with?



2.  So, I run a Maine-centric book club…we focus on reading only books with a Maine connection…either the author lives here, the book is from a local press, or the subject focuses on our history etc. We are a small group, with a broad range of interests so are open to your best suggestions of Maine centered novels, authors or publishers. And, yes, we know we share the state with Stephen King!



3. In order to encourage reading in my friends’ lives we started a book club where we read short stories, essays, humor, and poetry while eating brunch.

Authors like Shel Silverstein and Chuck Klosterman have done pretty well. Do you have any recommendations for short, humorous essays, stories and poetry collections we could add?



4. My nickname is Gerry, and I recently graduated with a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in English Literature (Woot!).

I read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In & Lean In for Graduates. I hoped there would be additional chapters that would provide beneficial information for people living with intersectional, systemic issues, such as college and career advice for Latina college students, who live in poverty and in single-mother homes, and they are struggling to obtain a job position after graduation.

While Sandberg does provide good advice, I am having a hard time identifying with her book because I feel she does not provide enough info for an audience from impoverished backgrounds who do not have enough access for education and better career services. Please, I would love it if you could recommend any leadership & career advice books for a diverse audience?

I’m aware my email may seem and feel loaded. While I am tempted to apologize and want to send a light-hearted request, I feel, as a regular listener, the Bookriot podcast has encouraged me to trust you with my bookish concerns and doubts. I love Bookriot because you, Rebecca, and Jeff have bravely discussed the intersectional and racial biases issues in the world of books with compassion. Thank you and please continue to spread awareness about diversity issues.




5. I’ve been reading YA for a decade. I enjoy so much of the genre, but I’d like to venture into adult fiction. Do you have any suggestions for someone who likes strong female characters who can kick butt and are smart?



6. I’ve been listening to Get Booked from the start – and boy have you cost me a lot of money!  I’m on a book-buying ban at the moment – because my tbr has reached epic proportions – but I’m asking for a friend (no really, an actual friend).  I’m the book-worm of my gang, but I’m struggling to help her.  She’s off on holiday in a few weeks (like mid-April) and has a 16-hour flight to fill each way and needs some book recs.

She’s recently got into what I’m calling Dystopian-New-Adult – which is really not my field! She loved Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas and the Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard  – and has read as far as those series go at the moment.  She’s read the usual suspects like Divergent, Hunger Games and I’m not sure what to suggest. I’ve suggested VS Schwab’s Darker Shade of Magic which I loved when I read it, but I’m not sure I’m on the right track!   Please help me help her.


Books Discussed!

Complete Stories of Clarice Lispector, trans. Katrina Dodson (Brazil)

Bonsai by Alejandro Zambra (Chile)

Shantytown by Cesar Aira, translated by Chris Andrews (Argentina)

With My Dog Eyes by Hilda Hilst, translated by Adam Morris (Brazil)

The State We’re In: Maine Stories by Ann Beattie

The Cider House Rules by John Irving

The Summer Guest by Justin Cronin

Cost by Roxana Robinson

Maine by J Courtney Sullivan

People I Want to Punch in the Throat by Jen Mann

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon Rich

Oye What I’m Gonna Tell You by Cecilia Rodriguez Milanes

Unfinished Business by Anne-Marie Slaughter

Getting to Yes by Ury, Fisher, Patton

50 Billion Dollar Boss edited by Kathey Porter and Andrea Hoffman

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard (May 17th)

Lexicon by Max Barry

The Regional Office Is Under Attack by Manuel Gonzales

The Killing Moon by NK Jemisin

Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Archivist Wasp by Nicole Horner-Stace

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir